Meetings Target Concerns at Toxic Richmond Sites By RICHARD BRENNEMAN

Tuesday June 21, 2005

Concerns over a pair of contaminated sites in Richmond will be addressed at two meetings this week and another on June 30. All are being convened by state agencies. 

On Wednesday, the state Department of Health Services (DHS) will address worker concerns about health problems at UC Berkeley’s Richmond Field Station (RFS). The meeting will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. in Building 454 of the station, which is located just south of Marina Bay. 

A second session scheduled from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Thursday in the offices of Kray Cabling, 1344 South 49th S t. in Richmond, will address health concerns of owners and employees of businesses near the Campus Bay site, just south of RFS. 

The June 30 meeting will be the first for the Community Advisory Group (CAG) appointed to help the state Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) develop cleanup plans for the controversial Campus Bay site. 

The main item on the CAG’s agenda will be the decision whether or not to extend its oversight to the RFS. 

The CAG meeting will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Bermuda Room of the Richmond Convention Center, 403 Civic Center Plaza near the corner of Nevin and 25th streets. 

CAGs are an integral part of the state Department of Toxic Substances Control cleanup efforts at sites contaminated by toxic and other conta minants, and the new Richmond CAG was formed as the result of a petition circulated by Richmond activist Ethel Dotson. 

The 25-member panel was picked by a selection committee that included Dotson, Bay Area Residents for Responsible Development member She rry Padgett, Michelle Milan of the staff of Assemblymember Loni Hancock and Jay Leonhardy, assistant to Richmond Mayor Irma Anderson. 

Included on the CAG are representatives of three government agencies, including Contra Costa County Public Health Direct or Wendel Brunner, Richmond City Councilmember Gayle McLaughlin and Richmond Redevelopment Agency chief Steven Duran. 

McLaughlin and Brunner have expressed strong reservations about plans to develop 1,331 residential units atop the buried toxins at Campus Bay while Duran has been a strong proponent of the project. 

UC Berkeley officials resisted a resolution by McLaughlin that called on the Richmond City Council to urge the transfer of cleanup efforts at the field station from the Regional Water Quality Control Board to DTSC. 

The water board has no toxicologists on its staff while the DTSC boasts a strong collection of toxic experts. 

Meanwhile UC Berkeley unions are pressing the school’s administrators for more information about toxics at the field sta tion, as well as for reports of illnesses suffered by workers at the site.